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My boyfriend and I have been off and on since sophomore year of high school and we’re best friends, and while the sex is normally good, I feel like there could be more. Any suggestions for how to make things more interesting without getting too kinky (no golden showers or whips)?-Wanting More in Franklin

Normally my first suggestion would, in fact, be to tie your paramour to the bed with sausage links and pee on him, but if you think you’re not quite ready for lunch-meat-urine-play then we can go in another direction. The first and most important step to having a healthy sex life is to open the lines of communication and keep them open, especially when you are beginning to experiment and expand your sexual lexicon. One or both of you may already have an idea for something new to try, but feel too embarrassed to suggest it, regardless of how long you’ve been together. In fact, you’re intimacy may make your partner feel less open to discussing his fantasies because he values your opinion too much and is worried that bringing his transsexual neighbor and his/her dog into the bedroom may change that.

The ideal is to create an environment where both of you can comfortably discuss what you want and share openly, because who knows better what you want than you? One good way to do this is to turn it into a game and make it fun to relieve some of the tension. One such method is to (after laying down some ground rules) pick one night a week as “fantasy night”. One partner sends an email, text or phone message with a fantasy for the other one to play out and they must do it, with the role of fantasy maker rotating week to week. Not only will the anticipation of having your desire fulfilled make the experience much more gratifying, but it is usually easier to communicate such personal information in a less formal way than explaining it to your partner face to face or over the phone.

Another way to go is to take a trip to the adult section of your local video store, pick out an entertaining title, and play “the shadow game”. Set up a TV in the bedroom, pop in your dirty, dirty movie and emulate what you see on the screen. This way neither of you has to be in the position of going out on a limb and suggesting something and maybe you’ll find something you had never thought of before. The other advantage is that there are millions of titles to choose from, so the possibilities for sexucation are endless.

And if you decide to take it to the next level, I would be happy to recommend some brands of salami that are both strong as steel and delicious to boot.